Ellen DeGeneres was photographed having lunch with her wife, Portia de Rossi, in Montecitio, California on Aug. 24. The women were seen exiting the restaurant, with Portia placing a protective arm around Ellen’s shoulder amidst the paparazzi’s flashing lights. This was the first time that Ellen has been seen in public since the death of her ex-girlfriend, Anne Heche, on Aug. 11.
Anne was involved in a fiery car accident when the vehicle she was driving crashed into a home on Aug. 5. She was alert and seen speaking to paramedics after the crash, but eventually lost consciousness. A few days later, it was confirmed that she was in a coma and in “critical condition”. By Aug. 11, Anne was declared brain dead, which is legally dead in California. However, she was kept alive via life support so that her organs could be donated. Recipients were found by Aug. 14, and she was officially taken off life support.
Officials revealed that Anne had drugs in her system at the time of the crash. However, it has yet to be confirmed whether the drugs were ingested before the accident, or given to Anne when she was in the hospital. A more conclusive drug test is being performed to obtain more information. Once the test is complete, officials will be able to publicly confirm which substances were found in Anne’s system.
Anne and Ellen dated from 1997 until 2000. Although they were no longer in touch at the time of Anne’s death, Ellen said that she was devastated for her ex’s loved ones during this difficult time. “This is a sad day,” she tweeted. “I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.” Before Anne succumbed to her injuries, Ellen also told photographers, “I don’t want anyone to be hurt.”